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Environ Pollut. 2010 Dec;158(12):3472-81. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.05.007. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

Assessment of the physico-chemical behavior of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in aquatic environments using multi-dimensional parameter testing.

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Department of Environmental Geosciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, Vienna 1090, Austria.


Assessment of the behavior and fate of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in natural aquatic media is crucial for the identification of environmentally critical properties of the ENPs. Here we present a methodology for testing the dispersion stability, ΞΆ-potential and particle size of engineered nanoparticles as a function of pH and water composition. The results obtained from already widely used titanium dioxide nanoparticles (Evonik P25 and Hombikat UV-100) serve as a proof-of-concept for the proposed testing scheme. In most cases the behavior of the particles in the tested settings follows the expectations derived from classical DLVO theory for metal oxide particles with variable charge and an isoelectric point at around pH 5, but deviations also occur. Regardless of a 5-fold difference in BET specific surface area particles composed of the same core material behave in an overall comparable manner. The presented methodology can act as a basis for the development of standardised methods for comparing the behavior of different nanoparticles within aquatic systems.

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